Tag Archive | "parking law"

Challenge that Ticket!


Parking is the motoring issue that seems to get drivers most worked up. Certainly, there are people who park badly or inconsiderately but – and this happens a lot despite the recent parking rule changes – many drivers have a feeling of injustice or being cheated or ripped off when they’ve parked somewhere without knowing there were restrictions in place.

These days, thankfully, the 2012 Protection of Freedoms Act has made it a criminal offence for private land owners or their agents to clamp or tow a vehicle with lawful authority. This has put paid to cowboy clampers, what about the ones issuing unscrupulous tickets? This has recently been highlighted in the news and on TV programmes like Watchdog. If you feel you’ve been unfairly ticketed whilst parking on private land it pays to know where you stand regarding the law.

P1 Challenge that Ticket!Broadly speaking, there are three main types of parking ticket: The police issued fixed penalty notices, Councils penalty charge notices and PPCs or private parking company notices. PPCs are for breach of contract or trespass. With a PPC ticket, you are being issued with a charge, imposed under civil law, for breaching a contract or trespass to property.

The contract – where signage is clearly visible which sets out the charges for parking on private land it is implied that parking on that land forms a contract between the driver of the vehicle and the landowner. Therefore, you can be charged for breaching the terms of the contract. Trespass to property – If a party enters private land without permission the land owner is entitled to compensation.

So take this issue really carefully and make sure you read signage when you enter a private car park because it outlines the terms of the contract that you could well end up breaching if you are not careful. The terms may include, for example, free parking being limited to two hours, and being charged for overstaying your welcome.

It is in your own interests to examine the area closely to make sure the signage is visible and clearly laid out. If you can’t find it or it is, in your opinion, inadequate in some way, then it may be prudent to take a photo of the area and where your car is parked and so on.

If you do feel unjustly treated then the most important factor to consider when appealing a private parking ticket is whether the company that is seeking to fine you is a member of the British Parking Association (BPA) which has a code of practice for control and enforcement. Car owners can contest private parking tickets with the independent body POPLA (parking on private land appeals) bearing in mind the following: You must first appeal to the PPC within 30 days or be barred from appealing to POPLA and that the appeals organisation only applies to BPA members.

When challenging private parking fines from non-BPA members you can refuse to pay and wait and see if court papers follow for breach of contract or trespass. To enforce a ticket the private parking firm would have to take you to court. Remember, you haven’t committed a criminal offence: rather, it’s a contract dispute between you and the private parking firm.

If it were to take you to court it would be a civil matter, and it is by no means certain that the company would win – which is where your photo evidence and the like comes in. Gather as much evidence as possible. The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 helps to provide protection for you from unscrupulous companies. Don’t allow yourself to be bullied. The law is on your side.

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